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NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award achievement for supporting new international recruits

By 6th November 2023No Comments

An NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award has been presented to us for ensuring the safe arrival, induction, and provision of support for new people joining the workforce from overseas.

The achievement reflects our dedication to providing high-quality pastoral care to internationally educated nurses during recruitment processes and their employment.

The award presented to us from NHS England is part of NHS England’s International Recruitment Programme, which supports NHS organisations to increase and develop their international recruitment plans.

Jane Durston, our Pastoral Care Manager, said; “It’s been such a privilege to work with all my caring colleagues to establish a high standard of personalised care for our international recruits. Many have travelled huge distances from countries such as the Philippines, India, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. I have learned so much and it has been humbling to support them through their amazing journeys across the world to join us. I’m honoured to be part of a project where everyone has embodied our values of ‘Taking it Personally’ and we can feel proud of all that has been achieved.”

We’ve been through a rigorous assessment process, demonstrating our commitment to helping international colleagues have a smoother transition and offering valuable opportunities for new recruits to obtain their nursing qualifications in the UK through the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) process, gain practical experience, and develop skills while adapting to life in the country.

Rener Laurente, Internationally Educated Nurse from the Philippines now based in North Somerset said; “It was nerve-racking coming to another country, but I felt really supported throughout the whole process. Before I arrived in the UK – the Pastoral Care team had put together a series of webinars, so I got to meet my colleagues online.

“Pastorally, Jane was a huge help because she checked in on us regularly – “How was your day?”, “How was your week?”. She asked if we had any questions or if we needed help with anything. We never felt lonely.”

Greta-Mae Domingo, Internationally Educated Nurse from the Philippines now based in South Gloucestershire said; “Sirona has made me feel very welcome. I love the work/life balance because it means I can see my baby grow while I am working so I can be a Mum, I can be a wife, and I can be a nurse at the same time. If you’re thinking of making the move to the UK don’t be afraid to give it a try because it’s all worth it!”

Mary Lewis, our Chief Nursing Officer, said; “We are delighted to have been recognised for our enhanced pastoral support offering by NHS England. This achievement is testament to the hard work by our teams in supporting our internationally educated colleagues to settle in and become integral members of our highly valued clinical teams.

“It demonstrates how we prioritise the wellbeing of our new recruits, making sure they have access to appropriate and tailored support during the entire recruitment process and beyond.

“We are a fantastic choice for people considering a move to the UK and a career in healthcare. We value the positive difference a diverse workforce can bring and offer great training and development across all areas so colleagues can achieve their career goals within a caring and supportive environment.”

The standards which healthcare organisations must meet to achieve the award have been co-developed with regional and local international recruitment leads and international nursing and midwifery associations. These associations play a pivotal role in providing vital pastoral and professional support to international recruits in the UK.

To ensure ongoing excellence, organisations that achieve the NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award will undergo reassessment every three years. This commitment to continuous improvement reflects the NHS’s dedication to maintaining the highest standards of pastoral care.

To learn more about how we have supported international colleagues, why not view the latest video where some of our newest recruits share their experiences of moving to the UK and how they have been welcomed to our organisation. New video shows the experience of our international recruits – Sirona care & health (